Sazbean Interview

Hello world! I was interviewed today by Sarah Worsham (sazbean).Sarah is among other things, a Web Strategist, Geek, Mother, Wife, Webgrrl, Computer Engineer and MBA! She runs a website that focuses on helping companies and organizations use the Internet to reach their business goals. The topics are focused around business & entrepreneurship and you can read the article here.

Hit me up on Twitter:  Follow @larrykim ... > Read more

November 19, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

Meta Description Mutiny! Take Control of Your Text Snippets

If you're under the impression that you control what searchers see in the meta description snippet of your SERP listings, you're living in fantasy land. Static meta descriptions are like Santa Claus, Unicorns and men who look "good" in toupees. They just don't exist. That's because the meta description is a chameleon: always changing its appearance.

That snippet you tag to show in the SERPs is often discarded by Google for text more germane to a searcher's query. And given that Google’s goal is to return the most relevant results to their audience, I can see how personalized meta descriptions make sense. But that doesn't mean search marketers have to sit by idly and let Google dictate what an audience will or won't see. There are ways to take control of your text snipp... > Read more

November 19, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 9

Using Google Analytics Benchmarking to Improve Your Website

A few years ago, Google Analytics added benchmarking, allowing site owners to compare their own sites to others in the same category. Of course, many sites fit into more than one category, and to enable benchmarking, you must first enable data sharing from within your analytics settings. Using my art blog, ArtNewYorkCity.

com, I wanted to see how well it performs against other blogs in its category. Selecting the right category is crucial for this exercise – fortunately, Google Analytics has a fairly rich selection to choose from, especially if you drill down a few levels. Once you have chosen a category, you can view six charts (see below) comparing your site with the averages of other sites in its category, aggregated from several thousand sites using Google Analytics that have also el... > Read more

November 18, 2009     |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 1

Leverage Analytics Intelligence to Be Alerted to Important Changes in Your PPC Campaign

At the end of October, Google Analytics announced a series of exciting updates. Included was the Analytics Intelligence engine which algorithmically tracks significant changes to patterns in your website’s metrics. This engine works both as an automatic feature for general alerts and a custom feature for you to leverage Intelligence based on any metric and/or traffic source you choose.

Intelligence comes with the ability to provide Daily, Weekly or Monthly alerts. As a PPC manager, I'm thrilled to be able to let Google track my data and tell me when things are going well, and more importantly - not going well. Today I'm going to share with you some quick ideas on how you can leverage Analytics Intelligence for your own PPC campaigns.  But just in case you missed the offici... > Read more

November 17, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 5

Link Building Experts Interview Series: Dixon Jones

Dixon Jones is the managing director of the respected UK Internet marketing consultancy Receptional, which heads up the marketing of MajesticSEO, the world's largest open anchor text link map of the web. He has spoken at Internet marketing conferences including Pubcon, SMX, SES and International Search Summit.

To learn more about Dixon Jones, check out his website or follow him on Twitter: @Receptional. Tell us a little bit about your roles, both at Receptional and at Majestic SEO. I publicly took over the marketing role at director level at Majestic SEO in the summer, after a long discussion with Alex, who is a brilliant programmer and who – I believe – has built something absolutely world-class. I’m not used to working for someone else, as also I founded Receptional, an Intern... > Read more

November 16, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

Rupert Murdoch's Crazy Old Man Syndrome, or Why Can't News Find a Business Model?

This week, another chapter in the slow-motion car crash that is the decline of the news industry (excuse me while I mix my metaphors; I’m working on reduced brain cells today): Rupert Murdoch announced that News Corp. will consider moving its websites to a paid subscription model and voluntarily delisting them from Google—equating search engine listings to plagiarism.

In an interview with Sky News (video clip below), he also claimed that “fair use is illegal,” a move Cory Doctorow called the “loonie cherry atop a banana split with extra crazy sauce.” Murdoch claims that “search people” (anyone who finds a story on one of the News Corp. sites via search) aren’t a worthwhile audience. They click on an item in the Google results, take ... > Read more

November 13, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

Best Keyword Ranking Tools for SEO

Most SEOs use keyword ranking tools to track where their pages are ranking in the SERPs for target keywords. It gives them an idea how well their optimization efforts are faring against the competition as well as how well those rankings are progressing over time. Now even though rankings without traffic and conversions are meaningless, it all starts with rankings.

If your pages don’t rank, nobody finds them. And the higher you rank, the more potential traffic you can grab. Now, there are a lot of a lot of paid and free tools out there that help SEOs track keyword rankings. Some are paid and some are free. In writing this post, I did a lot of research to bring you the best keyword ranking tools for SEO.Free Keyword Ranking Tools Rank Checker Web CEO Ventio Paid Keyword Ranking Tools Ad... > Read more

November 12, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 17

Sage Lewis Interviews Larry Kim

Sage Lewis of SageRock and Search Engine Watch interviewed Larry Kim about the exciting new features in WordStream 1.6, including Google Analytics integration and multi-source keyword analytics. Watch the two-part video interview below: ... > Read more

November 11, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 2

Five Myths About SEO Copywriting

1. SEO copywriting sounds forced and mechanical. This myth is almost true: Bad SEO copywriting sounds forced and mechanical. You can spot it from a mile away: The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar? The benefits of apple cider vinegar are many! The benefits of apple cider vinegar include improved health and boosted immunity.

This page is all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. I guess if this page starts ranking for "the benefits of apple cider vinegar" I'll have to eat my words, huh? But seriously folks: SEO copywriting doesn't have to, and shouldn't, be robotic. Keyword research is a supplement to good writing, not a replacement for it. The only reason that keyword-targeted copy would end up sounding as ridiculous as the above paragraph i... > Read more

November 11, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 10

The Future of Keyword Research: WordStream 1.6

Keyword research as we know it suffers from a major disconnect. On one hand, you have keyword tools, which provide keyword suggestions and associated keyword frequency estimates. On the other hand, you have web analytics applications, which provide you with the actual search queries that are driving traffic to your site, and the true relevancy of your keywords based on real conversion data.

But there is no reason for these two types of tools to be divorced from each other. In fact, in my experience, successful keyword research largely depends on your ability to leverage and manage data from both keyword tools and web analytics in a continuous fashion.Let's take a look at why neither keyword tools nor web analytics alone is sufficient for complete keyword research, and how the future of key... > Read more

November 10, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 5

Link Building Experts Interview Series: Ben Wills & Garrett French

Ben Wills and Garrett French are the cofounders of Ontolo, a link building agency. Check out their link building blog or follow them on Twitter: @benwills and @GarrettFrench. (Note: Also check out Ari Ozick's SEO Contrarian blog for a similar series of interviews with link building gurus Tuesdays of this month.

)  What factors go into a "quality" link? Garrett: Backlink profile of prospective linker -- which sites link to the page and the site as a whole An engaged, relevant audience Distribution and reach of target site -- are they social media participants? Do they have an email newsletter? How far will your link there take you? Ben: Relevance and value Keywords used on page, etc. Quantity and quality of backlinks Relevance of entire site Relevance of entire site's backlinks Whi... > Read more

November 09, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 6

The Week in Search: Even More Ways to Brainstorm Blog Posts

I'm sort of surprised that I've never linked to Chris Brogan's blog in a Friday roundup before, since I'm a regular reader. Maybe because his posts tend to be short, to the point and difficult to disagree with, and finding something to disagree with is one of my top ways of brainstorming new blog posts.

It's also one of Chris Brogan's! His "How to Think of Blog Posts" post features the good-old-fashioned rant at #8 (see roundups of Fridays past in which I disagree with Seth Godin, David Powazek and Robert Scoble). I guess I'm feeling agreeable this week because I have no beef with Chris's post; I simply want to add a few more ideas to the list: 1. Expand on a tweet: The next time you start to respond to something or someone on Twitter, hold that thought and see if you can't expand beyond 1... > Read more

November 06, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 1

5 SEO Myths Busted

SEO is rampant with misinformation, speculation and myths about SEO. But that's the nature of the game, right? Since nobody but Google knows for certain which 200 plus ranking signals comprise the Google secret algorithmic formula, we're left to speculate. However, there's gross misinformation, complete speculation and then there are theories put into practice tested and proven to return results with some degree of reliability.

With that, I've decided to address some of the SEO myths I see or hear from time to time. Most of the following SEO myths I'm attempting to debunk are controversial, meaning the vast majority of SEOs will disagree with my assertions, and I'll probably take a lot of flack. But that's okay. Feel free to lambaste me in the comments. I stand behind everything I'm profe... > Read more

November 05, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 22

New White Paper: Four Steps to Better Keyword Grouping

We're offering a new free white paper for download: 4 Steps to Better Keyword Grouping. This is a focused, tactical white paper offering clear and actionable advice to help you achieve more effective and profitable keyword segmentation for search marketing. If your keyword grouping strategy could use some polishing—or you're not even sure where to start—this white paper is a must-read.

Here's an excerpt from the new paper: If you only have time for one change to improve the overall performance and value of both your pay-per-click marketing and search engine optimization efforts, turn your attention to keyword grouping. Far from a single, isolated process, keyword grouping represents a paradigm shift for search market­ing. Better keyword grouping and organization can transfo... > Read more

November 04, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

3 Things You Need to Know About Long-Tail Marketing with Advanced Broad Match

This is a guest post is by Bob Stanley, WordStream’s Senior Client Services Representative. Bob has extensive experience in paid search, which he now leverages to help our clients solve difficult problems surrounding pay-per click marketing with the WordStream software. One of my roles as a client services rep for WordStream is to help clients use our software to successfully manage their paid search accounts.

I’m finding more and more with our clients that the long tail is getting extremely competitive. I personally blame advanced broad matching options, dynamic keyword insertion (DKI), and just the industry becoming more sophisticated.  We all know the advantages of getting more specific with grouping and creating better conversion paths – however, it’s not always so cut and... > Read more

November 04, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Improve Your Paid Search Performance by Addressing These 5 Common PPC Mistakes

For many online marketers, pay-per-click advertising is a relatively complicated marketing tool with a lot of moving pieces. Maybe that’s an understatement, but with so many moving pieces, it is commonplace to let certain strategies and best practices fall through the proverbial cracks. Admittedly, a lot has been written on PPC mistakes.

But that is just further proof that so many advertisers are leaving money on the table and need to be reminded how they can step up their game and improve their PPC performance. Today I’m going to discuss 5 common mistakes that PPC advertisers make and offer simple solutions to get your campaigns moving in the right direction. Ignoring Quality Score-Friendly Campaign Structure Despite the wealth of knowledge found on blogs and in ... > Read more

November 03, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 6

Link Building Experts Interview Series: Debra Mastaler

All this month we'll be interviewing link building experts on the WordStream blog. First up is Debra Mastaler. ( Does great content market itself? Yes and no. This really depends on the reputation of the person/company producing the content. Those with a good rep can publish and have content pushed forward, even if it's not so great.

Strong reputations carry tremendous power. Those without a reputation will need to work at pushing content and building their power base. Do you believe in linkbait? If so, what are some strategies for creating it? Interesting question, I've never been asked if I "believe" in something link-related before. Let's see ... I use it, I think it's effective and I think it adds diversity to your content mix  which is important when trying to tap into new traff... > Read more

November 02, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 6

Brush Up on Your Social Skills: The Week in Social Search

I hope you're not feeling antisocial out there, because today's roundup is all about social search. There were several big announcements this week in the world of social and real-time search. Microsoft and Google both announced agreements with Twitter. Bing's Twitter search is live, but it doesn't seem to work all that well – when I searched for my username, instead of getting a string of my tweets and @replies, I got this: Um, OK, but why? Why doesn't it just search for my username and return all the results? I can see why the "top links shared in tweets about" thing would be interesting/useful, but why is that the default search behavior? What if that's not what you're looking for? For its part, Google soft-launched social search in labs.

Danny Sullivan goes into some de... > Read more

October 30, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Google PageRank Update: October 29, 2009

Google updated their Tool Bar PageRank (TBPR) last night, October 29, 2009. I noticed the change around 9 p.m. last night, when I visited CNN.com and saw an all-green PR 10 tool bar, which caught my attention immediately. Previously, I believe they were PR 8. With the lastest update, the WordStream home page (now PR 5) and many of our top level pages have risen in rank.

So too have our blog posts, with many previous unresolved pages resolving and now achieving TBPR. Also, our take is Google is updating Toolbar PR more frequently in 2009. By my count, this is the fifth update this year, with the last PageRank update occurring on July 29, 2009. Note that in 2008, there were a total of five TBPR updates, so with this latest PageRank update, we've already tied last year's updates and may excee... > Read more

October 30, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

Top SEO Candy Websites

It's Halloween time again. Time for fright flick gore-arathons, Trick-or-Treaters, and...um...oh yah, bucket loads of Halloween CANDY! I'm sure many of you are stocking up on jumbo bags of fruity, chocolately or gummy candy treats for the roving bands of costumed kids that will soon descend upon your doorstep, that is unless you're one of those people who give out bags of chips or boxes of raisins as "treats," which BTW is a great way to get your house egged.

And with Halloween only days away, what better time to roll out some SERP analysis and crown the Top SEO Candy Websites. Let's find out who's doing a killer job at optimizing their on and off page elements for the Web's top candy queries. So sit back, relax and enjoy, 'cause this edition of our "Top SEO Websites Series... > Read more

October 29, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Top SEO Websites Series   |   Comments: 18

Monthly Blog Roundup: WordStream's October Highlights

October is winding to a close, and if history has taught us anything, November comes next. And with it, a candy hangover, my birthday, and pervasive Xmas music, in roughly that order—none of which I'm particularly looking forward to. So let's take this opportunity to look back—at our most popular blog posts from the past month, that is: Advanced Link Building: Clone Your Most Successful Link Profiles – Resident link building expert Ken Lyons explains how to analyze your link profiles step by step and then replicate your best link prospects.

Top SEO Web Design Company Websites – Another installment in the Top SEO Websites Series, Ken looks at which web design firms are practicing what they should be preaching: SEO-friendly design. 20 Conversion Rate Optimization (CR... > Read more

October 28, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Analyzing Bounce Rate Using Compete Destination Analytics

Bounce rate has become a hot topic in the search community. It's a bit of a buzz word, and if you're doing any sort of SEO or even PPC consulting you'll likely have clients concerned about theirs. In analyzing a site's bounce rate, I like to look at three main factors: Bounce Rate Factor #1: Traffic Source Often times the place traffic comes from (search, direct, referral) can have a major impact on bounce rate and can be an indication of irrelevant traffic (some perhaps that you may be paying for).

There are a variety of ways you can quickly diagnose problems using analytics packages. Bounce Rate Factor #2: Page Content/Structure Obviously the way you’re structuring the page or the content therein may cause people to bounce quickly. By carefully syncing your pages' headlines with ... > Read more

October 27, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 1

Google "Triple SERP Listings" or Double Indented SERP Results on Google.com

Not sure if this is getting rolled out everywhere but Larry spotted this last night and we're seeing it in a lot of SERPs: Pretty interesting. Really I think it's just more emphasis on domain authority. Not unlike site links and the search within search bar, a triple listing allows Google to crowd the SERPs with the single destination they've deemed sufficiently authoritative.

The criteria for attaining a double listing had been that you would need to push both pages into the cluster of ten a searcher was viewing. I haven't done a lot of testing but I find it hard to believe this is still the case, given the frequency with which I'm seeing the triple listing. What do you think? Is this an extension of the Brand/Vince update? Just a test? How aggresively are you seeing it in your SER... > Read more

October 27, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 4

Interview with the Experts: Ruud Hein

Ruud Hein is a Dutch family man living in Canada. Newsweek-recommended web publisher and blogger in his own right, he works at the SEO company Search Engine People where he's an internal SEO consultant and blog editor. See also: @ruudhein. Can you describe a typical day in the life of Ruud Hein? 06:50 – Put on coffee, start TweetDeck so it populates, take shower; make breakfast for my youngest daughter and my wife.

07:45 – Open TweetDeck, scan TwitScoop column; check if the world has made it through another night. Decide on which topic I want to track today. Check Cre8asite Forums. Check if blog posts on SEP and SEO Scoop have gone out. 09:00 – One hour of Most Important Task work. 10:00 – Check email. Do short stuff right away. Archive. Put stuff in my Evernote GTD setup. Do Tim... > Read more

October 26, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

The Future of Content Creation: Keyword Research on Steroids

Wired this week published a fascinating profile piece on a company called Demand Media: "The Answer Factory: Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell." The company's approach to content generation almost sounds like science fiction or satire, but it's real, and it works. It's a purely algorithmic, data-driven method of prioritizing content designed to rank on the first page of the Google SERPs: basically keyword research in hyperdrive.

And like it or not, this may be where we're all headed. Keyword-research-driven content production is nothing new; we practice this ourselves (to an extent). Workflow is based on the keyword groups that are currently driving traffic and conversions. If tons of people are finding our site after searching on "keyword organization tools" an... > Read more

October 23, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Advanced Link Building: Clone Your Most Successful Link Profiles

Link builders often talk about competitive link analysis and exploring your competitors' link profiles to find link opportunities. The logic here is a link profile that works for one site may work for a similar site. And executed properly, this can be an effective link strategy.But I'd like to share a link building tactic you've probably never read about.

It's very effective and based on the same approach and logic as competitive link analysis. Besides analyzing links on competitor sites, you should also be examining your own link profiles for link opportunities, specifically the profiles of your best performing pages. The objective here is to replicate the success of your strongest ranking page on your weaker ranking pages.Why is this link building tactic successful?If it's working for on... > Read more

October 22, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 17

Using Google Analytics Advanced Segments for Keyword Research

Google Analytics has some very powerful capabilities for keyword research that are often overlooked. Using advanced keyword segments, you can find and isolate buckets of keyword traffic (organic, paid, or both) and their destination landing pages, in mass – and that can be very useful for your optimization efforts.

Take one of my blogs, ArtNewYorkCity.com – I’ve written about shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art quite a lot over the years. Taking all of my keyword traffic that contains the word “Metropolitan,” I can create an advanced keyword segment in Google Analytics. Below is a list of all those keywords. Creating an advanced segment just to home in on “Metropolitan” keywords effectively gives me the same keyword list. You may be wondering why I would bother cre... > Read more

October 21, 2009     |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 2

What, Exactly, Determines Your PPC Keyword Price?

It's a question that's asked more often then you might think. "What determines my pay-per-click keyword price?" The answer is most certainly not "Google" or another PPC search engine. Truth be told, this question is aptly answered by a quick lesson in PPC fundamentals. Your keyword price, or cost-per-click (CPC), is determined by a combination of your bidding strategy, keyword competition, Quality Score and a handful of other factors.

TIP: PPC terminology 101. While keyword price is a seemingly accurate descriptor, the more appropriate (and widely accepted) term is actually cost-per-click - aka CPC.Your Keyword Bids: The most obvious determinant of your keywords' cost-per-click is in fact your actual bid! Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter all util... > Read more

October 19, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 7

SEO Dojo Launches Private SEO Community & Forum

Our friend David Harry recently launched a new SEO community called the SEO Dojo. I've been a member through the community's "beta" period, and it is packed with a ton of great information and there are numerous "hardcore" SEOs offering up their expertise to answer questions and help drive discussions.

Some highlights: Ask the Experts & Dojo Chat - I haven't had a chance to be as active in the chat as I'd like but from browsing transcripts its obvious that there is a lot of activity and that there will be numerous SEOs eager to interact, answer questions and offer feedback. Knowledge Exchange - The forum area allows you to have your site reviewed, offer or shop for services, and more. Study Hall - This area is home to a lot of great SEO guides authored by David and the Dojo members. ... > Read more

October 19, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Another Week, Another Battle in the War on SEO

If you've been working in the search marketing industry for long, you know that every so often some scheming troll (or major news corporation) comes along and delivers a rant against SEO, usually including most if not all of the following sentiments: Search engine optimizers are snake oil salesmen (Would that those fighting the war on SEO were also familiar with the war against cliché) SEO is just common sense; it's obvious Most of what SEOs do is smoke and mirrors SEOs are scam artists Information on optimizing a site is freely available on the web, so why pay for it? This week, that troll was a Derek "Powa-jerk" Powezek (hat tip to Ken for the wrestling name), who I guess is a designer (his actual job titles include Creative Director and "Chief of Awesome").

... > Read more

October 16, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2
 
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